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Richard Bloomfield opens 2012 grass court campaign with defeat at Nottingham

PUBLISHED: 16:29 05 June 2012

Richard Bloomfield began his 2012 grass court campaign with a loss in the opening round of qualifying at the Nottingham Challenger. The 29-year-old from Alpington fell 7-5, 7-6, to John-Patrick Smith of Australia in a keenly-fought contest. Smith, six years Bloomfield’s junior, is ranked 300 in the world – 78 spots above the Norfolk man.

The Nottingham Challenger, the first warm-up tournament before Wimbledon, received a strong entry that saw the main draw capped at 140 in the world rankings. The main draw features the likes of Dmitry Tursunov and Andy Murray’s French Open first round opponent, Tatsuma Ito. Bloomfield will remain in Nottingham ahead of a second challenger next week as he aims to capitalise on arguably his strongest surface.

• Norfolk junior Pippa Horn travelled to Hungary for a grade 2 ITF on clay last week but was beaten in the opening round by Jelena Dzinic of Serbia, 6-4, 6-2.

Horn paired with Vitalya Alkhovic from the USA for doubles; only to draw Dzinic again with her partner Nicoleta Dascalu of Romania who prospered in straight sets. Horn, 16, is ranked 214 in the world for girls and is midway through her GCSEs at Queenswood School in Hertfordshire.

• Acle Tennis Club enjoyed a successful open day last weekend, as over 50 people flocked to the club to try out the facilities on offer. With all 5 courts in use, visitors received free coaching from the club’s coaching team and could even have a go at mini red tennis.

The serve speed competition was won by James Kent, a member of the coaching team and plate event regular, who hammered down a personal best 95 mph serve with his sixth attempt. Spectators enjoyed a BBQ while the Acle Veterans team played a match in the afternoon.

Kent said afterwards: “We’ve had a great day at the club; people have seen what we have to offer and that Acle is a great place to play tennis. It was a bit embarrassing to win the serve speed competition but I did warn everyone that my serve was pretty big.”

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